"To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon, those who sit in darkness out of a prison."
- Isaiah 42

Common mistakes to avoid when appealing criminal convictions

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2024 | State Criminal Appeals

If you or a loved one get convicted of a crime, you might consider appealing the ruling. It is important to understand the appeals process and avoid common mistakes.

A successful appeal could change the ruling, reduce your sentence or lead to a new trial.

Missed appeal deadlines

In the state of New York, you have 30 days from the date of your ruling to file an appeal. Do not let a technicality ruin your chances of arguing your case. Know the deadlines and file your appeal on time.

Poorly written brief

Appeal briefs require clear, concise and persuasive legal arguments. Spelling, grammar and citation errors can undermine your credibility. Craft your appeal brief carefully to ensure accuracy. Logical reasoning and case law are important considerations.

Insufficient transcripts

Obtain complete transcripts from your original trial before you file your appeal. Comprehensive information allows you to formulate a strong appeal. Missing information often leads to dismissals, so request transcripts as soon as possible to ensure that you have everything you need.

Failure to raise all issues

You must present all of your issues with the case initially on direct appeal, not later for post-conviction relief. Include all of the relevant and appropriate grounds for appeal up front for the best chance of success.

Filing with the wrong court

Filing in the wrong appeals court can also lead to rapid dismissal. Ensure that you fully understand which court is appropriate for your appeal so that you file your case correctly.

With proper procedures, many convictions get overturned, protecting rights and promoting justice through the appeals system.